Current Water Quality Risk Areas for Berg-Olifants, Breede-Gouritz and Mzimvubu-Tsitsikamma WMAs
The focus is placed on the WMAs located in the southern region of the country namely the Berg-Olifants, Breede-Gouritz and the Mzimvubu-Tsitsikamma WMAs. All of the WMAs are predominantly of low to no risk, however, numerous significant risk areas were established for all of the WMAs and directly correlated with the extent of modification of water sources or areas. Significant risk areas were predominantly established downstream or within close proximity of urban centres, and cultivated areas with most high and medium risk areas being directly downstream or close proximity of WWTWs. WWTWs are of great concern for all of the WMAs as it is dominated by unacceptable to tolerable levels of most or all selected water quality parameters especially in terms of Faecal coliform. Most of the WWTWs facilities within these WMAs do not comply with set standards and can be attributed to these facilities being mismanaged, inadequate or in need of proper maintenance or upgrading. Proper sewage facilities are also needed to be developed for rural settlements. The WMAs could invest in the reuse of wastewater after it has invested in the upgrading or maintenance of current WWTWs as the reuse of wastewater could be seen as an untapped water source which could lessen pressure on catchments. Desalinisation of ocean water needs to be accompanied with proper treatment due to Faecal coliform being a major issue. Desalinised water will have to go through proper treatment to ensure water is of a proper domestic use standard and eliminate any microbiological threats such as Faecal coliform. These issues need to be addressed to avoid future significant environmental human health problems and risks and to ensure constant future water supply.